Heidi Roizen, Operating Partner at DFJ, discusses her important article, “How to Build a Unicorn From Scratch – and Walk Away with Nothing,” and imparts crucial lessons to entrepreneurs on how to look at terms in a venture financing situation.
Eric Benhamou, Managing Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures, was the CEO of 3Com, a pioneer in the networking space, and the key competitor to Cisco. He also ran Palm, the first Smartphone maker, that 3Com acquired, then spun out and took public. He provides an insightful window into the opportunities in the enterprise cloud infrastructure space, and in Cyber Security, and also explains why he is not necessarily looking for Unicorn companies to invest in. This, I might point out, is a highly unusual perspective in today’s VC universe, so you may want to pay attention to his analysis of the market.
Brian Jacobs is General Partner, Emergence Capital, SaaS / Cloud domain experts boasting a fabulous portfolio, including solid exits like SuccessFactors, Yammer, and Veeva. He discusses his views on where cloud opportunities are likely to be at this point. While we’re in a mature market, he is still bullish on innovation.
Ashmeet Sidana, Founder of Engineering Capital, a seed-stage venture fund focusing on infrastructure technology, had a lot of insights to offer, and delivered one particular piece of wisdom that is close to my heart. He says, funding is like candy. Don’t eat too much candy. Whole wheat bread and proteins are customers and revenues. That’s what you should focus on. Brilliant analogy, don’t you think?
Ashish Gupta, Co-Founder of Helion Ventures, one of the key players in India’s venture capital eco-system. If the topic interests you, this discussion is extremely crisp and insightful.
Anand Daniel, Partner with Accel Partners, discusses Accel India’s investment strategy at length.
David Blumberg, Founder and Managing Partner of Blumberg Capital, has been in the business for a long time, and we had a very interesting chat about the evolution of the venture business over the last 15 years. We also discussed some areas where there are opportunities to build new scalable businesses.
Asheem Chandna, General Partner at Greylock Ventures, on the topic of funding fat startups, something Asheem has done routinely, one of the very few VCs still doing so. Very interesting discussion.
Ann Winblad, Co-founder of Hummer Winblad, is one of the most successful women VCs in our industry, and as I mentioned in my introduction, I have never heard her whining about bias against women. One of the most encouraging things she discussed today is how her firm is sourcing interesting ventures from all over the world, not just Silicon Valley. Mulesoft, one of their hot portfolio companies, had its CEO based in Malta, originally!
Dave Hornik, General Partner, August Capital, as some of you may know, shocked the industry years ago by being the first VC to start blogging. His peers were aghast! Well, clearly, he saw something before everybody else, and today, many VCs blog, Tweet, and do all sorts of other things to engage in social media, now a dominant force in the industry. He discusses a number of points, of which, I want to particularly draw your attention to his views on the subject of Freemium.
John Dougery, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Inventus Capital, a fund that is one of the earliest players in the Silicon Valley – India corridor, discusses his firm’s investment focus, as well as reviews the trends of the Indian market.
Sasha Mirchandani, Managing Partner of Kae Capital, an early stage venture fund, is also a co-founder of Mumbai Angels. Sasha re-emphasized that Indian VCs only invest in India-facing B-to-C ventures and global B-to-B startups. India-facing B-to-B is not a sector that gets any investment, with few exceptions. We discussed the lack of exits in India, as well as the missing late-stage funding for B-to-C ventures facing the Indian market. Those of you who are working out of India would do well to keep these key points in mind.
Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, is a key player in the India-US startup corridor. The discussion spans trends in SaaS, Open Source, and the Indian venture capital market in general. If you are working in the technology startup sector with an interest in India, this is a discussion worth listening to.
Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital, outlines the top trends driving startups and venture capital from his firm’s perspective.
Warren Weiss, General Partner at Foundation Capital, has a long track record in the Silicon Valley venture capital industry. He shares areas he and Foundation are excited about as opportunities for building future Unicorns.